We thought that it was about time that you started to get to know the team that help put the Starley Sportive on. So as the driving force behind all things Starley, I’m the one that has been put forward to go first. So here goes…
I’m Ian Court and to say I’m a keen cyclist would probably be an understatement. If it’s got two wheels and pedals you’re likely to find me either riding it or watching it.
In 2015 after injury cut short my Rugby playing career I rekindled my childhood hobby of cycling and joined Coventry Road Club. That year I got involved in the clubs original charity ride; supporting the event organiser at the time. In 2017 I decided to take my love of cycling to the next level by organising the event that has now become known as the Starley Sportive.
I personally want to make a difference and get more people out on their bikes. I also feel that as a city our contribution to the cycling industry is sometimes forgotten, through this event I believe that we can remind people of our important part in the creation of the bicycle. Let us not forget that there are more than two billion bicycles in the world; the largest mode of transport the world has seen and it started in our very own city.
Over the past few years, the event has grown and grown. More and more cyclists from across the UK have joined in with the ride and it was great that we joined forces with Coventry Council last year, As a feature event as part of the City Council’s European City of Sport last year.
To me it’s important that people understand it’s not a race, it’s about inclusion. I want people to feel like they can join in whoever they are and have fun cycling; rather than it being a competitive event. This year our youngest rider was 7yrs old and our oldest was in his 80s. There are people who’ve never been on an organised ride before and others who have hundreds under their belts. However there is no doubt that this event can be the catalyst for people to get riding more, join cycling clubs and even take up cycle racing. In fact it was through a similar event that lead me to cycle racing myself.
So by day I’m a mortgage adviser by night I’m all things Starley. I am the jack of all trades and take care of everything for the event – from risk assessments to web design. It’s been a massive learning curve for me and I love it. The best thing about the Starley for me is that I’m learning skills that I can bring into my working life whilst doing something that benefits others.
I’m so passionate about the event and I want as many people to get involved as I can. If that means me learning new skills to arrange events like the Sportive then that’s what I’ll do. Last year I was asked to be interviewed on stage at the European City of Sport launch event, go on radio and make videos. I was so nervous; but I got a lot of personal achievement out of it.
I am a very keen supporter of local charities, it’s important to me that we generate as much money for local good causes as possible. The more sponsors we can get and the more businesses get involved then the more we can do with your funding, leaving more to donate to charity. If you would like to be one of our event sponsors please get in touch. I would love the opportunity to talk through the difference you can make.
Lastly, but definitely not least I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in the event, the business partners, sponsors, volunteers and riders. You all make the Starley Sportive into the great event it is. The next blog post to look forward to will be by Edward Hudson from our event partner Deeley Group.